May 20, 2014

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How does one become a licensed clinical social worker?

Becoming a licensed clinical social worker opens the doors to many licensed clinical social worker jobs. Getting the license is not easy, it takes hard work, discipline and time but once the license is received the options are many. Depending on the jurisdiction in which you are located the requirements can be slightly different so you must look at the qualifications where you eventually hope to work. Many regions expect the applicants for licensed clinical social worker jobs to hold a masters degree in social work (MSW) and to have spent a period of time, often two years in supervised employment. It is necessary to pass a stringent test to receive a license to work privately or to engage in practice therapy.


Different regions have different educational expectations. In most states you will have to have at least a master’s degree in social work from a recognized university. To get ones master’s degree it is necessary to first complete a bachelors course in one of the many social sciences although this does not necessarily means social work. If your goal is to work in therapy for example, look for a course which offers programs focused on your unique interests.


Once the individual has attained his or her MSW many licensed clinical social worker jobs will be open. To become a LCSW you will first need to work under supervision for at least 3000 hours, this approximates about two full years of supervised service. It is difficult to equate hours and years as the shifts vary. In most cases these positions are paid positions; many are in government run hospitals, government social agencies, etc.


Once the supervised hours have been completed the individual can apply to the Board of Behavior Examiners or some similar agency for a license to work independently. To get the license it is necessary to take a test which consists of both oral and written questions. It is extremely important that the candidate be well prepared for this examination; study material is usually available from the local board which will be of tremendous help when preparing for the exam.

Some but not all regions have set an age limit before a person can sit the LCSW exam. In many states the candidate must be 21 years of age or older although preparation for the licensing exam can begin earlier but the test can only be taken after reaching the age of 21.

Once you receive your license you can apply for licensed clinical social worker jobs that are of interest to you.

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